Gas prices rose 7 cents per gallon over the past two weeks pushing pump prices to near record levels, but the upward pressure on prices may be easing, an industry analyst said Feb. 23, according to the Associated Press. The average weighted price for gas nationwide, including all grades and taxes, was approximately $1.70 per gallon Feb. 21, according to the Lundberg Survey of 8,000 stations nationwide. That price is within 7 cents of $1.77, the all-time high recorded by the survey on May 18, 2001, AP said. "The pace of gas prices has already slowed," Trilby Lundberg said. "The other indicators show a possible decrease in prices." Increased production in Venezuela, the approach of warmer weather, and the reopening of various U.S. refineries that had been idled for annual maintenance should help slow or end the price spiral, Lundberg said, according to AP.